Sunday, March 30, 2008

Kids swimming at Malibu Creek

video

TodAY IS SUNDAY

I am so much better at keeping up on everyone else's lives than I am on my own! Jack is working today and it was actually going to be a very busy church day for me, but Emma was up coughing all night long for the second night in a row
and we figured it wasn't a hoax and probably I ought to stay home from church with her. So goodbye meetings and sorry to the primary where Emma had a talk today! It makes me excited to know we have another week to practice, though!

More of a journal entry



THE TREE AT THE VISITORS CENTER.


Jackson's face is so funny in this picture! They were pretty excited about this "snake" though.



SOME CUTE KIDS!


So Jack has been J.O.W. since January. I recognize no one knows what this means and I'm not going to explain other than say it is SO STRESSFUL!!! I don't know if I have ever seen him this tired in the past six years. I understand this is the hardest part of his fours years and I can totally believe it, but I'm not going to hold my breath to think it will just be easy cheesy from here. It lasts four months, hopefully. There's another story to that hopefully, but HOPEFULLY I won't have to explain that. Anyhow, it is supposed to last four months-January through April- but his chiefs are having him run the outpatient clinic the month of April and go back to JOW for May. Part of me wishes he could just get it done and over with, but it will also be nice to see him this month and when he's home maybe he really will be home. We'll see. His body really needs some rejuvenation and hopefully that last month will go quickly since it is just one month. He is doing so great, though, and I'm so proud of him. Sometimes I get irritated with how freaking honest and nice he can be, but that's why I loved him in the first place so I can't complain there. It's crazy to think we're almost done with our first year here. It has gone by quickly and I think my SIL, Kim, prepared me well for the worst because it hasn't been near as bad as I thought it was going to be (although it was no cake walk, either). I am SO glad the weather is warming up, though. Not that I can complain from seeing pictures from everyone else's blogs with all the snow, but it's been in the 80's warm enough to whip out the swimsuits this week...everyday. On Monday, I thought I would be brave and actually get into my so, so, so cold pool with the kids and I think I proved myself mother of the year that day. They, at least, thought I was the greatest thing since sliced bread. I had so much fun hearing them laugh and jump in and swim around that I had to do it Tuesday and Wednesday, also. The last two days I was pretty cranky (shocker, I know) and let them swim alone. But back to beautiful weather! Hooray! So last weekend we took a day trip with the bikes up to Malibu Creek State Park. We even let Emma take hers which was fun, but a LOT slower and turned out to not be the best idea for upcoming reasons. The park was beautiful and we rode up one side of the creek. We are always so surprised when we go out to these beautiful locations that California has to offer and recognize that not that many people take advantage of these parts of California. Once again, I'm not complaining. That's the whole reason we like to leave our area is to get away from all these people! A couple of movies and tv series have been filmed here like MASH, Planet of the Apes, and I think Pleasantville (?). I don't remember the TV series. It was so fun and relaxing for us. As far as Emma is concerned. She is still on training wheels. I think her legs are getting stronger and confidence could still be in need of some boosting, but training wheels are NOT the source for confidence! She's become this completely cautious chic who now won't even go into a driveway dip. She gets off herbike and walks across it. She did a great job on the mountain, but when she would hit a rock she had no choice but to go whatever way (which was pretty much forward) the training wheels would force her. There were some pretty scary falls the I was so grateful she was wearing gear. She scraped up her helmet real bad on one of the falls that would have been her face if she hadn't been wearing it. Then the cuts she got on her hands and knees were bleeding pretty good and she didn't want to ride anymore after that. Fortunately, we were close to the river crossing so we got some good play time there and got the cuts cleaned and rejuvenated to get back to the car. There was one last hill that we had to get past and we were all pretty tired and Emma was just struggling to keep going on her bike and there was this family that was so nice and and man who just kept his hand on her back and pushed her up the hill...she (and we) were so grateful to him. She kept telling us "he's a nice man" and I'm so glad he'll be blessed for such a small act of kindness. I wish I could thank him yet again for helping us out.

Wednesday, March 12, 2008

Just a Catch Up

I've been chastised for not putting up pictures or posting near often enough. So here I am posting four pictures and a two second clip that is painful to watch, but if you do it over and over again it can almost be funny (unless you are the mom).
This is just a fun day at the park.
Emma singing with her friend at karaoke.

Swimming in our absolutely FREEZING COLD pool.



She's quite the poser.


So after our THIRD ultrasound to find out the sex of the baby (the legs were crossed the first two times) we found out the baby is OFFICIALLY a girl!!! I actually saw the labia this time and it made me so happy. There was actually a little problem in the ultrasound and we had to do a few extra tests because he thought I was dilated already...didn't turn into anything and I'm assuming all is well because he scheduled me in four weeks like normal...I'm also anemic. Bumber deal. It's because I'm so irresponsible when it comes to taking my vitamins. Anyway, everything is easily fixed, just gotta take those vitamins. But I am so excited to finally know.

video

Thursday, March 6, 2008

Please Help Me

I cried on my way home from Walmart today. I was so frustrated with myself for feeling and being so gutless. This is why. I was in the check out line with my sweet little one year old son and looked up to see this months special edition swimsuit issue of the Sports Illustrated that had a title of “Barely there Bikinis.” If you choose to imagine…the model on the cover wore a tiny pair of string bikini bottoms and no top; there was only a necklace thick enough to cover just the pink part of her nipple. I was furious that such a thing was aloud to be open to the public. Is this NOT called pornography? Do we not suffer through plenty of People magazine or whatever else issue of celebrities in skimpy dresses or low cut and midriff baring shirts? I determined to cover it up so I turned the magazine around only to find several girls with no tops on (their backs toward me) and boy-cut bottoms that happened to have their butt cheeks hanging out the bottoms. So I went on to take other magazines to cover this magazine up. I was actually grateful to see Nicole Richie holding her brand new little baby on the cover of People magazine and thought “what a HUGE difference between the purity of these two issues.” Or at least the cover of these two issues. So what do I do? I could (and should have) asked to see a manager and pleaded to have these put behind the same shelf as Playboy or Maxim or whatever other magazines there are that are tasteful (did I just say that of those two magazines?) enough to put a cover over the front that only shows the title of the magazine. I fought myself as I walked out of the store and rationalized that I had frozen foods that need to be put away or that I would be looked at as being ridiculous or that someone would think I was just jealous because I didn’t look as good PHYSICALLY as the woman on the magazine. I got in the car and called my husband and began to cry. Why? Because why in the world should I feel ridiculous or humiliated for sticking up for what is right? Why would I not look into the face of my beautiful little son who is going to be fighting hormone battles in a decade and say “I will do everything I can RIGHT NOW to make that battle a little easier for him?” And what about the battle for my four year old girl? Does this battle not include her? I think anyone with brains would scream a resounding YES!!!

So this is what I am going to do. I am going to make an effort when I go to Walmart, Target, Albertsons, Meijer, Smiths, Kroger, you name it. I’m quickly going to ask the manager to cover them up TODAY because I have a right to go to a store and not worry that my kids and myself are going to feel uncomfortable or degraded by a stupid picture on a magazine. Is it too hard to cover up? I’m guessing that will take all of about two minutes to five tops. Is that not worth the future of my kids? I am asking this of those who are willing. In your next church meeting…whatever religion or belief you have or are, if you are talking about an upcoming service project why not say “hey, let’s go to a few stores and as a group of men or women stand up for Jesus Christ and do what is right?” Aren’t we His disciples? Faith without works is dead, my friends. What if we each took 10 minutes and wrote a letter (and made copies) to send to different editors when we came across something that required a little action? Not bad for a church project to make a difference for our future and that of our posterity. It won’t take long!

This is a quote that I received today when I opened my email. It is from the late leader of my church, Gordon B. Hinckley:

"In my quiet moments, I think of the future with all of its wonderfulpossibilities and with all of its terrible temptations. I wonder what willhappen to you in the next 10 years. Where will you be? What will you bedoing? That will depend on the choices you make, some of which may seemunimportant at the time but which will have tremendousconsequences."